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HP Omen 15 (2019) review: A GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q for under S$4,000

By Koh Wanzi - 11 Oct 2019

Productivity & gaming performance

Test setup and performance

Here's a full list of the notebooks we're looking at:

  • HP Omen 15
  • Acer Predator Triton 500
  • Lenovo Legion Y740
  • Razer Blade 15

HP was only able to send us the Omen 15 with the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. Unfortunately, I don't have any benchmark numbers from other similarly configured notebooks at the moment, so I'll just be comparing the Omen 15 to the other GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q laptops we've reviewed so far. 

Test notebooks compared
 
 

I ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • AS SSD
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

How good is it for work?

PCMark 10 Extended evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark.

These are all really powerful notebooks, and the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q doesn't offer that much of an upgrade over the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q when it comes to daily productivity tasks and applications. In terms of overall scores, it was only 5 per cent quicker than the Lenovo Legion Y740. 

 

What's the storage performance like?

The HP Omen 15 is equipped with a Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe 512GB SSD and a Seagate Barracuda Pro 1TB HDD. The WD drive performed quite well in AS SSD. It never trailed significantly in any one area and consistently put up good numbers throughout.

 

How fast is it in games?

It's not a widely known fact, but there are actually two variants of the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, comprising 80W and 90W versions. The Omen 15 comes with the 80W GPU, with a base clock of 735MHz and boost clock of 1,095MHz. In comparison, the Razer Blade 15 I reviewed earlier this year has the 90W version, featuring a more aggressive 990MHz base clock and 1,215MHz boost clock. 

That said, nowhere are the downsides of having single-channel memory more obvious than in games. Since the problem is supposedly with the way games or applications manage system memory, you don't see the same deficits everywhere. For example, Metro Exodus appears unaffected, and all the laptops turned out numbers that were pretty close to one another.

The first oddity you'll notice is that the Omen 15's 3DMark scores are actually indistinguishable from that of the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q notebooks. That's already the first sign that something isn't quite right, and a look at the in-game benchmark scores further shows the Omen 15 neck-and-neck with the other laptops or even trailing them slightly in certain instances. 

That really shouldn't be happening considering that the laptop has a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (refer to the Razer review to see how much more potential was lost), and it's just further evidence of what a bad idea it is to make a high-end laptop with single-channel memory. Metro Exodus and The Division 2 were the only titles that allowed the Omen 15 to inch ahead. The HP laptop was roughly 11 per cent ahead in both games. In The Division 2 however, that advantage applied only to running the game at Ultra settings, perhaps because the CPU becomes less of a limiting factor at more demanding settings.

  • Design 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 7
  • Value 7.5
  • Mobility 4.5
The Good
240Hz display with G-Sync support
Excellent speakers for a laptop
Plenty of I/O options, including Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card reader
Relatively quiet fans for a laptop in this class
Reasonable value
The Bad
Single-channel memory results in huge performance deficits
Relatively heavy at 2.4kg
No per-key RGB customisations
Mediocre battery life